A lot of benefits can be had from using the right framework when running a project. You prevent scope creep, complete projects at a faster pace and may even reduce costs, amongst a host of other benefits.
This article touches on a number of these frameworks and their characteristics.
1. Six Sigma
Six Sigma focuses on ensuring there are little to no manufacturing defects in the end product. It focuses on using data and statistics to resolve weak process points that hamper productivity or cause errors in manufactured outputs.
Motorola trademarked the “Six Sigma” phrase in 1993, referring to the Greek letter sigma, a mathematical symbol for a standard deviation.
The phrase describes the framework’s goal to reduce the number of defects to fewer than 3.4 per 1 million units.
Companies often use Six Sigma to bolster the quality management of their manufacturing operations, aiming to attain little to no variance in their product’s condition.
Six Sigma is best for operations with repeatable processes you can centralize or for systems you can complement with more advanced technology.
The framework can help you meet the quality standards you desire. It may not always equate to perfect or exceptional services, but it will help you retain consistent quality across projects.
Here are some of the objectives that may be achieved when you adopt Six Sigma:
● Using data more practically to increase productivity
● Pinpointing components causing errors
● Minimizing flaws or inconsistencies in your product or service
● Enhancing consumer and employee satisfaction
As a project management approach, Agile is a flexible, iterative design-and-build approach that requires high adaptability to dynamic needs and conditions.
Here are some characteristics of Agile teams:
● They focus on rapidly producing continuous, incremental outputs, rather than designing and rigorously following a comprehensive or set plan.
● With benchmark data and consumer feedback, teams can assess outputs to determine necessary improvements and make adjustments.
● They emphasize collaboration and value delivery to customers. Project teams work jointly to identify tasks that deliver results to customers in the shortest possible duration (called an “iteration”).
● Iterations usually involve agile meetings for structuring the dynamic environment in product delivery and ensuring teams reach their goals.
● Agile teams minimize documentation and processes where they can, enabling them to deliver quickly.
Agile teams also use top-rated agile project management tools. An example of such tools is Clarizen.
Clarizen is one of those tools that can help in accomplishing project tasks faster through time-saving workflows. Its automation features are also perfect for standardizing repetitive processes. For more examples, explore Seven Top-Rated Agile Project Management Tools.
Scrum is based on agile principles and it aims to empower small, cross-functional, and self-managing teams to finish projects faster based on the following:
● Bringing incremental value to consumers over definite periods (called “sprints”).
● Using iterative methods to fine-tune project outputs throughout sprints until teams meet performance standards (based on consumer needs).
● Teams delivering projects quickly, collecting/studying performance data and improving accordingly.
● Employing a set of events (“scrum ceremonies”) and indicating the stages required to fulfill the targets of each sprint.
● A scrum master (or lead person) facilitating the process and ensuring the team realizes its goals.
● Scrum teams organizing projects by themselves and collaborating to plan and finish sprints.
Use Scrum when developing, testing and rolling out flexible projects, gathering real-life data on the product’s performance, and improving the commodity based on feedback.
Ideal projects suited to scrum principles include implementing SaaS technologies, redesigning slow websites, and even marketing campaigns, among others.
Birthed from Lean management principles, Kanban focuses on eliminating waste and maximizing the value you get from project execution. Kanban is also similar to Scrum in many ways - aiming to complete outputs early, often with a self-managing, collaborative team - but is a simpler version of the latter.
The kanban process is light and flexible, directing team members on essential matters and visualizing the workflow with this approach:
● It breaks the project down into single tasks. Each team member self-designates a task, working on it until its completion. They continue to the next assignment in this way until they finish all to-do’s, and the project closes.
● Project managers establish a workflow with the team, where everyone can monitor each task's status anytime. A kanban workflow usually puts to-do's in phases, such as “unassigned,” “in progress,” and “completed.”
● Kanban boards display workflow, with tasks presented as “cards” under their respective stages. Team members transfer the cards along the workflow as tasks advance toward culmination.
● With waste reduction as a key Kanban principle, project managers curtail the number of team meetings, remove burdensome steps in the workflow, etc. to maximize productivity.
Kanban project management tools include Asana, for instance:
Asana has a visually appealing, user-friendly dashboard for classifying tasks by their status. The tool even lets you drag and drop cards from one list to another.
Additionally, Asana provides the functionality for your team to attach files, store and share data, and completing other key functions thereby simplifying teamwork and providing updates on tasks.
With tools like Asana, you streamline your kanban project tracking and boost the visibility of progress.
Choose the best framework and tailor it to your business.
These are some of the most popular approaches to managing projects, but a single approach on its own may not wholly suit your project needs/structure. If that’s the case, study these approaches, see which ones work for your project and try to mesh them, where practical. Experiment with them and continually refine them until you find the most functional and relevant approach.